The Lampre-Merida team has yet to decide its squad for the coming Tour de France, but already Filippo Pozzato feels he is being excluded from the selection.
On Wednesday, while training for the national championships with the Italian team, Pozzato took to Twitter indicating that he felt more appreciated by the Italian national team's directors Davide Cassani and Giancarlo Ferratti than his trade team.
"It gave me morale and made me feel like I have at least this team that believes in me," Pozzato said. To Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian said he was being excluded from the Tour de France and would focus on the world championships with the national team.
However, Lampre team manager Brent Copeland disputed that fact, telling Tuttobiciweb.it that the team hasn't been decided.
“I remind everyone, in particular Pippo, that our list for the Tour is still open to 11 riders," Copeland said. "We decided to wait for the Italian national championships before making the team official, because we were waiting for a signal from Pozzato, a sign we didn’t have at the Dauphiné and Giro de Slovénie. There isn’t any preclusion, if there were, we would have announced the team days ago, and Pippo knows that. We aren't making this decision lightly. We don’t easily exclude an experienced rider like Pozzato.”
Cassani also repeated Copeland’s statement in an interview with Gazzetta. “I told [Pippo] in front of everyone that, ‘if you were going slow, you would not be here ... I know that you are the first one to exclude yourself. You still have time to be a part of the team and you can still do something important.’”
Pozzato's best result of the season has been a third place in the prologue of the Tour of Japan. His last victory was in the GP Ouest France Plouay in September, 2013.
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